Why it matters: The court's 5-4ruling largely leaves the status quo of abortion law unchanged, affirms the court's precedents and leaves big decisions about the future of abortion access for another day. Their sole claim before this Court is that Louisiana's law violates the purported substantive due process right of a woman to abort her unborn child.
The court reviewed a September 2018 ruling by the New Orleans-based Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the Louisiana law. Opponents disputed that, saying that hospitalizations after abortions are rare, that women would receive medical care at hospitals whether their doctors had admitting privileges or not and that abortion providers are often unable to obtain admitting privileges for reasons unrelated to their competence.More news: Trump promotes video showing apparent supporter shouting 'white power'
In dissent, Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham wrote that the majority's ruling was impossible to reconcile with the Supreme Court's 2016 decision in the Texas case and with its 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which banned states from placing an "undue burden" on the constitutional right to abortion. Indeed, one of the main selling points of President Donald Trump's campaign was new justices to overturn Roe.
Justice Samuel Alito argued that Roberts was wrong in his application of stare decisis because the Louisiana and Texas laws are actually different.
"The legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike", he wrote. "Therefore Louisiana's law can not stand under our precedent", he said. Far too many Black people, who are already dealing with the overt racism of police brutality, also endure more subtle, state-sanctioned policies like the ones that further limit and restrict access to abortion, that make access to bodily autonomy almost impossible. Many court-watchers believe what had changed was not the law - but the court itself. And the idea that a regulated party can invoke the right of a third party for the objective of attacking legislation enacted to protect the third party is stunning. All others in the state were crushed under the weight of stiff restrictions and requirements in the 89 state laws Louisiana has passed to regulate abortion clinics since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
The law threatened to close all three of Louisiana's clinics.More news: Microsoft to close all its retail stores - Hardware - Software
"We are disappointed that SCOTUS continues to protect the practices of abortion providers at the expense of women's wellbeing", National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) attorney Angie Thomas reacted in a statement.
In bringing the case to the Supreme Court, Louisiana added another challenge on, questioning what's called "third-party standing", which means that a third party - like an abortion provider - is allowed to argue on behalf of the person actually impacted - a patient. "By deciding that abortion doctors and clinics need to follow a separate, less stringent set of rules than every other medical facility leaves women open to the consequences of an industry that has mastered cutting corners on healthcare". However, they are highly effective at shuttering clinics, which perform the majority of America's abortions. Most any state health department report on their local abortion clinics will more than likely have repulsive citations that should make any woman question walking inside those doors.
"Today's ruling is a bitter disappointment", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List.More news: Johnson says he will double down on spending plans